Complaints: Who’s got ‘em? Just about everyone

If you felt a little annoyed about something going wrong during a recent restaurant dining experience, you’re not alone. My recent 40-minute wait for a glass of water left me feeling crabby, for sure. Order one thing, get something different. Spotting wildlife on plates, tables, or buffets. And then there was my friend who got a mouthful of twist-tie in her fettuccine alfredo. Or another friend’s Band-aid on a breadstick. Ick. And so it goes.

Indeed, negative online reviews for U.S. businesses jumped by 3 percent between April 2022 and the end of the year, the industry journal Nation’s Restaurant News reported.  Restaurants and bars saw the biggest upticks in negative reviews, followed by construction, education and hobbies and crafts.

Data from Trustpilot, a global business review platform based in Denmark with strong presence in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Europe, revealed a 4% overall decline in positive reviews since April, equating to nearly 40,000 fewer positive reviews than during the same period in 2021.

That’s a lot of whining. Still, there’s a glimmer of good news, according to the publication’s source, Trustpilot’s quarterly Online Review Index: Around the world and in the U.S., there are still far more positive reviews than negative reviews.

Nevertheless, as the world emerges, sort of, from the depths of a global pandemic that’s still not really over, restaurants – like a lot of other businesses – continue struggling with supply chain and worker issues. That translates into diner frustration and a growing impulse to go ...Read more